Security Conference: Blinking Summons Unity – Politics
The US government continues to see a high risk of a military escalation by Russia in the Ukraine crisis. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the Munich Security Conference, even if the US government and its partners are doing everything possible to find a diplomatic solution, we are “deeply concerned that this is not the path that Russia has taken”. Everything that is currently being observed is “part of a scenario that is already underway: namely, creating false provocations, then having to react to these provocations and finally committing a new aggression against Ukraine”. The US government has long warned that Moscow could artificially stage an excuse to publicly justify an attack on Ukraine.
Blinken emphasized that the greatest strength of the western partners in the crisis is their cooperation and solidarity. He believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “somewhat surprised” at how close the NATO countries and the European Union are to each other in the crisis. “As long as we maintain this solidarity, we will be ready to respond one way or another – no matter which path President Putin chooses,” said the US Secretary of State. (02/18/2022)
Guterres: Robust fight against terror needed in the Sahel region
According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the further fight against Islamist terrorist groups in the Sahel region can only be won with more robust troops. To be honest, one has to say that the currently available security mechanisms are not capable of dealing with the terrorist groups, Guterres said at the security conference. The fact that these groups can now also reach the coastal regions will possibly have consequences as far away as Europe.
“We need robust troops. But this cannot be done with peacekeeping. This requires peace enforcement and anti-terrorist warfare.” Strong partners are needed, as in previous missions in the Balkans. “In this case, the African Union with a clear mandate that doesn’t exist now,” Guterres said. He referred to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter (“Measures in the event of a threat to or breach of the peace and acts of aggression”) and the need for guaranteed funding for these troops.
The European Union and the United Nations are about to reorient their engagement in the Sahel region. France will end its anti-terrorist operation in Mali with partners. Germany is involved in the EU training mission EUTM and the UN mission Minusma in Mali with a total of more than 1,300 soldiers and is putting this participation to the test. Meanwhile, violence and attacks have continued to spread despite the operations. (02/18/2022)
Baerbock calls conflict over Ukraine “a Russia crisis”
Against the background of the massive tensions in the Ukraine crisis, the Munich Security Conference starts this Friday. Among the most prominent speakers over the next three days will be Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. For the first time since 1991, Russia is not represented by an official delegation.
In her speech, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from the borders of Ukraine. The first signs of this are a “glimmer of hope”, but now action is needed, said the Greens politician. War is threatening in the middle of Europe. “Russia’s troop deployment is an absolutely unacceptable threat,” she said. This crisis is not a Ukraine crisis. “It is a Russia crisis.”
The opening statement was given by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “There is no alternative to diplomacy,” he said, referring to the Ukraine crisis. Several other federal ministers are also coming to Munich: Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Development Minister Svenja Schulze and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir. In this blog you can see the most important speeches live.
At the world’s most important meeting of experts on security policy around 30 heads of state and government take part, as well as more than 80 ministers. The event in the luxury hotel Bayerischer Hof takes place under strict Corona conditions. Instead of the usual more than 2000 participants, this time only 600 are admitted. They all have to be vaccinated and take a daily PCR test.